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    Aldermanic Forum On January 21 By Canaryville Improvement Association

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    On January 21 at 7PM, Maureen Sullivan is scheduled to appear at a Aldermanic Candidate forum put on by the Canaryville Improvement Association. The event is free.  A piece in DNAInfo about the event can be found here.

     

     

  • king

    Honoring MLK

    On Dr. King’s birthday, I like to think about how quickly the impossible becomes the everyday.

    In the 1950s, steps toward equality between people seemed an impossibility. From the south to the northern cities, deep racial segregation was the order of the day. Law and custom kept working people separated for no good reason at all.

    The lines crossed by Dr. King had divided not just people of differing bloodlines, but had also separated working people from each other.

    Our being set against each other is how the bosses of the 1950s and earlier preferred it. Racial segregation kept us divided. And it was “impossible” to change.

    Impossible — until King’s awakening spread in a few years across the United States, and the “impossible” gave way. Tradition ended and law developed, taking our country many miles down the road away from a brutal past and toward a modern civilization.

    What used to be unthinkable is no longer.

    Segregation does persist. Division is still profitable to some. Human beings are still human beings with all our faults and failings.

    But to think about Dr. King is to think about how peace and justice are never off the table.

    Happy MLK Day, everyone.

  • sullivan-at-u-of-c-forum-jan-8-2015

    Maureen Sullivan Endorsed By Chicago Teachers Union

    In a Wednesday session of the Chicago Teacher’s Union endorsement committee, progressive 11th Ward Aldermanic candidate Maureen Sullivan was selected in an overwhelming vote by the union membership over her Aldermanic challenger Patrick Daley Thompson. Thompson had been originally proposed by union leadership.

    “I couldn’t be more honored by the Chicago Teachers Union’s decision to endorse my candidacy,” said Sullivan, a school council member at McClellan Elementary in Bridgeport. “I owe this outcome to the CTU rank and file who I worked with closely fighting the recent wave of public school closings that threatened Armour, McClellan and Graham elementary schools,” she said.

    The reversal decision for Sullivan and against Daley Thompson came in two steps. CTU leadership originally proposed endorsing Thompson, a move that sparked contention over the last three days following the proposal’s appearance.

    At the meeting, 11th Ward resident teachers and numerous supporters of Sullivan, keenly aware of Thompson’s pro-charter, pro-voucher and anti-elected-school-board stances, led the membership in a move to strike Thompson’s name from the endorsement resolution.

    After winning the vote to strike Thompson’s endorsement, an energized union rank and file introduced a second amendment, this time to endorse Sullivan. After debate, the membership took a voice vote which was overwhelmingly in favor.

    CTU’s nod comes as welcome news for the Bridgeport native’s staunchly progressive, grassroots campaign against the legendary 11th Ward political machine.

    “This endorsement is a victory for working families and everyone who understands that a neighborhood’s economic health drives education outcomes,” said Sullivan “Our public education system is under attack by pay-to-play privatizers. In this election, I am proud to stand with public school teachers, families and students to say enough is enough.”

    [Above: Maureen Sullivan leads a class on machine politics at University of Chicago last week.  Photo: Brian Cerullo]

     

    We saved McClellan!

    [Above: Maureen Sullivan campaigns in Fuller Park against public school closures in 2012.  Photo: Derek Johnson]

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    Where Was This Picture Taken?

    Over the weekend, a campaign mailing from Patrick Daley Thompson hit our mailbox.

    Because Patrick is a candidate for 11th Ward Alderman, we were surprised to see a bunch of high-rise buildings printed on it.

    So we asked ourselves: where exactly are the high-rises in the 11th Ward?

    Is this over by Freddie’s?

    No.

    Is this the Appleville apartments? Or over by Shinnick’s?

    No and no.

    Maybe it’s by Sox park?  The old Amp? University Village?

    Nope.

    It’s downtown. Which is where Patrick Daley Thompson does his job as real estate attorney and lobbyist for big business. Where he helps the connected get their hands on our tax money.

    So the next time you take a walk down our Haslted St. and wonder why there are so many empty storefronts in our neighborhood with Thompson signs mounted inside the empty windows, remember where Patrick Daley Thompson is coming from. Remember what he’s thinking about.

    It’s not the 11th Ward.

  • bridgeport-alliance-flyers

    Announcing January’s 11th Ward Aldermanic Forums

    In a town that could use some heating up in January, a pair of political forums* are guaranteed to raise the temperature on the insider leadership responsible for mismanaging the 11th Ward for decades. Two debates in the 11th Ward Aldermanic race are announced:

    At least one additional forum is planned for Feburary.  Watch our website for details.

    * [CORRECTION: The original version of this post characterized these events as debates, but in fact their formats are not debate-style. The formats are instead panels with Q&A directed to the candidates individually. We regret the error.]

    (Photo credit: Bridgeport Alliance)

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    Sullivan, Candidates Address Bridgeport Village Homeowners Association

    Last night at Polo Cafe, during the first event of the campaign season attended by all three candidates for 11th Ward Alderman, the questions flowed like beer from Polo’s cash bar.

    Addressing a gathering of the Bridgeport Village Homeowners Association was Maureen Sullivan and her election opponents John Kozlar and Patrick Daley Thompson. The event planned 20 minutes for each candidate to deliver remarks followed by questions from association members.

    After drawing straws, Maureen led off, letting the homeowners know why she’s running for office:

    “There are many reasons why I’m running for Alderman, but the number one reason I’m running is because my neighbors demanded it. For the past ten years, I’ve been a highly visible community volunteer stepping up to improve our neighborhoods by providing leadership, creativity, experience and successful community organizing. Time and time again over that ten years, I have been asked ‘why don’t you run for Alderman? We need you. You already do what the Alderman is supposed to do.’ This year was the year I finally gave in and stepped forward.”

    Questions for Maureen included how she would shape the business development in the neighborhood. “At Archer and Halsted,” she said,  “there should be commuter-related businesses such as a day care, and we should consider a drive-through coffee place.  I envision Halsted Street and Archer Avenue as walkable small business districts, that look inviting.”

    After remarks by Kozlar including a round of applause for his work with the Canaryville Little League, Patrick Daley Thompson took the stage to present a very different vision for Halsted’s business district and its shuttered storefronts. He said retail wasn’t the right focus.

    “You don’t need as much retail on Halsted.  You shop on the internet now,” said Thompson.

    On Alleys And Designation

    The Q&A for Daley Thompson got a little fractious. Feeling neglected by Jim Balcer, current Alderman, Daley machine appointee and office-mate of Thompson’s, association members pressed Thompson on issues including the arrangements in the development for garbage pickup.  One homeowner said he had been asking the Alderman for eight years to have city garbage pickup arranged in Bridgeport Village’s alleys.

    “That’s easy to do,” said Daley Thompson. “We have to create a designation for the alleys.”

    The crowd, familiar with the process but having gotten no response on it for years from Alderman Balcer, did not like that answer.

    “If it’s so easy to do, why hasn’t it been done?” shot back another homeowner.

    “You’d have to talk to Jim Balcer,” responded Daley Thompson.

    11thward-office

    (Above: The office on 37th St. where Patrick Daley Thompson and Alderman Jim Balcer have desks.)

     

    (Photo credits: Planet99.com, HGJones.org)

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    It’s Official: Maureen Sullivan Is On The Ballot!

     It’s Official

    It’s official: all the hard work — unpaid field volunteer work going back months — has been worthwhile. All the careful planning, all the management, all the communications and all the detail work — has paid off.  There are no petition challenges, all the I’s have been dotted and all the T’s have been crossed.

    We couldn’t be more proud to report the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners has announced that Maureen Sullivan is on the ballot for the February 24th election.

    As a groundswell of support for real change increases across the 11th Ward and the campaign’s red window signs appear in ever-greater numbers from University Village to Canaryville, the message is clear: Maureen Sullivan is for real.

    It’s Time To Step It Up

    Now is the time to step it up. Here’s how you can help:

    Don’t let this chance pass — our first in decades — to elect a responsive, independent and experienced community leader.

    Show your support for the lady who you’ve seen out there actively improving our community for ten years, not just out there knocking on doors at election time.

    Show your support for the candidate who stood up to the old-boy leadership on 37th Street and Halsted and said “enough is enough”.

    Get behind a leader.  Get behind Maureen Sullivan for 11th Ward Alderman.

    Photo credit: CBS2Chicago

  • Before-After Photo of Crawford coal plant in Chicago

    How I Helped Fight The Coal Plants — And Helped Us Win

    Like a lot of people in Bridgeport and Pilsen, my family has struggled with respiratory problems tied to the nearby Crawford coal plant. In 2010 I read a report detailing the plant’s terrible health costs to residents, including premature deaths, asthma episodes and heart attacks every year. Beyond that, I learned the dollar costs were more than $120 million to the people in the community.

    I knew this situation was wrong. I decided to get involved to change it.

    That was the year I and a core group of community leaders co-founded a group called the Bridgeport Alliance and steered it to join the city-wide and Pilsen-centered efforts to end the coal plants’ costs to the community.

    I had first gotten involved in the specific coal plant issue after attending Green party community meetings where I learned that Pilsen-based PERRO had been working on closing the plants for years. We first made contacts with Dorian Breuer from PERRO and then later Christine Nannicielli and her staff at Sierra Club in 2011.

    I own a business, so I’m always mindful of what works for commerce. But I learned these plants were open for one reason: to sell power outside of Illinois and to contribute to an Enron-style national market for electricity. We know how Enron ended up. There was no way it was right to pay for that kind of business with the health and lives of our people.

    That year, I became part of a big effort. My allies and I worked on volunteer organization, educating residents, raising awareness, collecting signatures on South Halsted, collecting photo petitions and enlisting the support of 11th Ward businesses. We were on the streets, engaging our neighbors. Our work, organized and presented as the Clean Power Coalition, culminated in a City Hall action Dec 2, 2011.

    Along with the Coalition’s city-wide pressure, which included the Bridgeport Alliance, I personally asked 11th Ward Alderman Jim Balcer to sign on as a co-sponsor of the City Council Clean Power Ordinance, which was introduced in April 2010.

    The Old-Boy Leadership: No-Go and No-Show

    Alderman Balcer never signed on, and in fact sold out the people of the 11th Ward by delaying the vote on the Council floor twice, putting it off until after the end of the Daley administration.

    Also, my election opponent Patrick Daley Thompson, at that time an executive of the South Loop Chamber of Commerce, was a no-show on the coal plants. Patrick made no appearance nor statement about the health hazards faced by the people of the 11th Ward during the entire fight. If he’s ever said anything about people in our community dropping dead thanks to coal plant pollution, I’ve never heard it.

    No thanks to Thompson’s absence or Balcer’s interference, it was ultimately the threat of the City Council vote — that threat created by community pressure city-wide through our Clean Power Coalition — that eventually ended the pollution in 2012 and improved the air quality in our community tooday.

    Today, as President of the Palmisano Park Advisory Council, it’s one of my greatest joys to climb the hill and look north to the now-smokeless smokestacks, take a deep breath, and remember what can happen when people get together to stop footing the bill for an operation that doesn’t even serve them.

    What can happen?

    We can win.

    (Photo credit: ELPC.org)

  • sullivan-cleanair3

    Sullivan Puts Mayor Emanuel, Thompson On Notice: Quit Stealing Credit

    Maureen Sullivan, independent progressive candidate for 11th Ward Alderman addressed the media at City Hall today along with Reclaim Chicago and Bridgeport Alliance to demand that Mayor Rahm Emanuel withdraw his campaign commercial claiming credit for closing the nearby Fisk and Crawford coal plants in 2012.

    In a crowded press conference before television and print media, Sullivan, a candidate whose own community work has been claimed by her political opponents, fired at Mayor Emanuel over his own attempt to portray himself as the reason the coal plants were closed.

    “What Mayor Emanuel’s commercial doesn’t mention is that during the first year of his term, he had activists who were protesting the coal plants arrested,” said Sullivan, referencing the May 2011 arrests of anti-coal plant protesters early in Emanuel’s term.

    “There’s a reason his commercial doesn’t mention this. It’s because it’s much tougher for the Mayor to claim credit for the hard work of community activists when the truth is that he put the activists who were doing the work in jail.”

    Sullivan, a ten-year community organizer and business owner, appeared with 25th Ward Aldermanic candidate Byron Sigcho and representatives from community groups including PERRO, Rising Tide Chicago, Bridgeport Alliance. She worked with Bridgeport Alliance on opposing the plants in 2011.

    Afterward, Sullivan reflected on the problem of inactive politicians taking credit for the work of community activists.

    “Community activists get out there, unpaid, and get things done, and it’s wrong for politicians who had nothing to do with it to get the credit. When I won the grant to fund the new playground equipment at McGuane Park in 2012, it was the result of months of solitary work. But when the cameras came out on the dedication day, suddenly there’s my opponent Patrick Daley Thompson standing next to me in the picture. It’s wrong, it’s transparent, and the voters aren’t going to stand for it.”

    Sullivan’s next community event is “11th Ward Tax Tricks” on December 4th, a workshop explaining how the community’s tax money is being misspent using TIFs.

    Photo credit: Reclaim Chicago

     

  • sign - THANK YOU

    Giving Thanks On Thanksgiving Week

    The first phase of our long campaign is over. Petitions will be filed today and we move on to the season where we stop worrying about getting on the ballot and focus exclusively on making it clear how I will improve the 11th Ward.

    The conversation will continue: we’ve knocked on thousands of 11th Ward doors and been honored by all those people giving their time to talk about our community. We’ve earned thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. There are hundreds of our signs on the streets.

    We have earned endorsements from National Nurses United, Reclaim Chicago, The People’s Lobby, Democracy For America — and more are on the way.

    We’ve picked up a lot of steam, and it’s only going to get bigger from here. Over and over, we leave people’s homes in agreement about many things. The number one point of agreement is this: we can do better.

    I want to give thanks to the team for all their hard work getting out that message thus far. You have inspired so many and I have been inspired by so many.

    Just to name a few: Rob Warmowski, Veronica Castillo, Sandy Earley, Rene Paquin, Jennie Biggs, Peter Xantheas, Roseanne Mostacchio, Dan and Lynn Pugh-Bennett, Kevin Robinson, Alison Eichhorn, Kathleen McKenna, Ana Castillo, Angela Rojas-Gonzalez, Alicia Ibarra, John Freyer, Kevin Morgan, Mandy Pence, Tom Stoddard, Mary Welter, Virginia Gibbons, Val Kahan, Jackie Maher, Cori Stankowicz, Peter McMahan, Colleen Duffy, Tom Bailey, Sam Mattone, Jon Ozik, Nate Lefebvre, Mark Lennon, Mary Ann Reid, Ian Tuggle, and my team of advisors in other camps whose priceless advice is always taken to heart.

    Salut, team! We are going to win this!

    And now, let’s have the great Alex Chilton and Big Star say thanks better than I can.

    Photo credit: Groomsadvice.com

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